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Muslims Attack Two Christian Families in Egypt, 11 Killed


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http://www.aina.org/news/20110202205758.htm

Muslims Attack Two Christian Families in Egypt, 11 Killed

Posted GMT 2-3-2011 2:57:58

(AINA) -- News of a massacre of two Christian Coptic families by Islamists just emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of the Internet connections after a week of Internet blackout by the Egyptian regime. The massacre took place on Sunday, January 30 at 3 PM in the village of Sharona near Maghagha, Minya province. Two Islamists groups, aided by the Muslim neighbors, descended on the roof of houses owned by Copts, killing eleven Copts, including children, and seriously injuring four others.

Anba Agathon, Bishop of Maghagha, told Coptic activist Dr. Mona Roman in a televised interview on Al-Karma TV that the killers are their neighbors, who seized the opportunity of the mayhem prevailing in Egypt and the absence of police protection to slaughter the Copts. He said that he visited today the four injured Copts, who escaped death despite being shot, at Maghagha General Hospital and they told him that they recognized the main attackers as they come from the same village of Sharona. They gave the Bishop details of what happened.

"The two families were staying in their homes with their doors locked when suddenly the Islamists descended on them," said Bishop Agathon, "killing eleven and leaving for dead four other family members. In addition, they looted everything that was in the two Coptic houses, including money, furniture and electrical equipment. They also looted livestock and grain."

According to the Bishop the first group was led by Islamist Ibrahim Hamdy Ibrahim, who was joined by a gang of masked assailants. They accessed the roof of the house of Copt Joseph Waheeb Massoud through the roof of his Muslim neighbor Mahgoub el Khawaled. The armed men killed Joseph, his wife Samah, his 15-year old daughter Christine and 8-year-old son Fady Youssef

Another Islamist group led by Yasser Essam Khaled and several masked men simultaneously accessed the house of Copt Saleeb Ayad Mayez through the roof of his Muslim neighbor Mohamad Hussein el Khawaed. The Islamist shot dead Saleeb, his wife Zakia, his 4-year-old son Joseph, 3-year-old daughter Justina, his 23-year-old sister Amgad, mother Zakia and Ms. Saniora Fahim.

The police in Minya were called and they transferred the bodies in ambulances to Maghagha Hospital.

The Bishop denied any vendetta between the Copts and the Muslims. He called on the police to arrest the Islamist perpetrators immediately, as everyone knows they are the neighbors of the victims. He said "The massacre has nothing to do with the mayhem in Egypt, but the murderers took advantage of the lack of police protection and thought they could commit their crime and no one would notice."

Coptic activist Dr. Hanna Hanna views the Mubarak era with its policy of impunity to be the cause of why Copts are targeted. "Why have those Islamists chosen those two Coptic families and not Muslim ones to slaughter and rob? I believe it is because they know that with Copts they can literally get away with murder."

By Mary Abdelmassih

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People kill each other all the time. Lets not add fuel to the fire that is Egypt by trying to separate people.

LOL the king Racist caller not wanting to SEPARATE people..

Im sure they were killed because they were just in the wrong place at the around time... Im positive it had NOTHING to do with Religion.

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People kill each other all the time. Lets not add fuel to the fire that is Egypt by trying to separate people.

I didn't divide anyone. I merely quoted a story from the Assyrian International News Organization.

But the people who singled out Coptic Christians for slaughter? Yeah, they divided people.

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i wonder if mubarak(sp) sent his " supporters" to do this to try and divide the resistance.

just like out of no where the " supporters" with horses and camels started attacking people the other day. also im pretty sure his supporters are plain clothed military people.

The chatter before the revolution started was the opposite -- that radical Muslims were stirring unrest to destabilize the government. The great thing about Egypt is that for the most part, Christians and Muslims live alongside each other in relative peace. Things like this seem a bit too convenient to not be political. I'd wager the intent was to further destabilize the government, rather than the opposite.

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When any religion attempts to segue into the political realm, h*ll always breaks loose as we are seeing in Egypt with its faux "democracy". Separation of Church and State is a necessity.

Speaking of h*ll breaking loose, anyone else see the police van plowing into people over there? I'll see if I can find it.

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When any religion attempts to segue into the political realm, h*ll always breaks loose as we are seeing in Egypt with its faux "democracy". Separation of Church and State is a necessity.

Speaking of h*ll breaking loose, anyone else see the police van plowing into people over there? I'll see if I can find it.

Nope but it doesn't surprize me one bit. SMH!

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The chatter before the revolution started was the opposite -- that radical Muslims were stirring unrest to destabilize the government. The great thing about Egypt is that for the most part, Christians and Muslims live alongside each other in relative peace. Things like this seem a bit too convenient to not be political. I'd wager the intent was to further destabilize the government, rather than the opposite.

How would this destabilize the government? Authoritarian regimes facing peaceful protests (relatively speaking) try to find legitimate ways to crack down on the opposition, either through the police or the military. If the government oversteps and violently cracks down on peaceful protests then it further loses legitimacy, which emboldens the opposition. If it does nothing then it legitimizes the opposition and emboldens them.

Anything that gives the regime a legitimate excuse to use force against the opposition--like chaos and mass slaughters--is only going to help the regime.

The opposition right now is mostly coming from moderate to secular middle class and young voters who want freedom. Even the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the more conservative wing, has denounced violence and extremism. This isn't the Taliban rising up to take power. The concern for the Coptics is legitimate, but I think it's a bit overstated.

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How would this destabilize the government? Authoritarian regimes facing peaceful protests (relatively speaking) try to find legitimate ways to crack down on the opposition, either through the police or the military. If the government oversteps and violently cracks down on peaceful protests then it further loses legitimacy, which emboldens the opposition. If it does nothing then it legitimizes the opposition and emboldens them.

Anything that gives the regime a legitimate excuse to use force against the opposition--like chaos and mass slaughters--is only going to help the regime.

The opposition right now is mostly coming from moderate to secular middle class and young voters who want freedom. Even the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the more conservative wing, has denounced violence and extremism. This isn't the Taliban rising up to take power. The concern for the Coptics is legitimate, but I think it's a bit overstated.

Give it time. Democracy and freedom are a process, and a long one at that. The next iteration will not look anything like a free society or democracy. My only hope is that the nation doesn't regress.

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Give it time. Democracy and freedom are a process, and a long one at that. The next iteration will not look anything like a free society or democracy. My only hope is that the nation doesn't regress.

You don't know that and it's silly to speculate. It's just as possible--perhaps more possible--that opposition groups rally behind ElBaradei, who is not some Islamist extremist but rather is fairly moderate and was part of the inspections in Iraq. If the opposition gets its way and has fair elections, ElBaradei has a good shot of winning and establishing a moderate democracy in Egypt, one that would continue to be a close ally with the US.

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You don't know that and it's silly to speculate. It's just as possible--perhaps more possible--that opposition groups rally behind ElBaradei, who is not some Islamist extremist but rather is fairly moderate and was part of the inspections in Iraq. If the opposition gets its way and has fair elections, ElBaradei has a good shot of winning and establishing a moderate democracy in Egypt, one that would continue to be a close ally with the US.

It's easy to speculate because history, past and recent, has shown how ineffective nascent democracies perform in the region. It's even more difficult when you have decades of no real political diversity other than that which has held dominion over power. It will be a populist land grab first (one we probably won't be too happy with), and hopefully the military will stay on the sidelines and not invoke a junta as a transitional solution.

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How would this destabilize the government? Authoritarian regimes facing peaceful protests (relatively speaking) try to find legitimate ways to crack down on the opposition, either through the police or the military. If the government oversteps and violently cracks down on peaceful protests then it further loses legitimacy, which emboldens the opposition. If it does nothing then it legitimizes the opposition and emboldens them.

Anything that gives the regime a legitimate excuse to use force against the opposition--like chaos and mass slaughters--is only going to help the regime.

The opposition right now is mostly coming from moderate to secular middle class and young voters who want freedom. Even the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the more conservative wing, has denounced violence and extremism. This isn't the Taliban rising up to take power. The concern for the Coptics is legitimate, but I think it's a bit overstated.

I didn't say it was "the Taliban rising up to take power," at least if what you mean by that is Muslim radicals are behind the uprisings against the government. My suggestion is those perpetrating the attacks are hoping they will be able to capitalize on the unstable government in order to seize power themselves or, at the very least, to attempt to goad religious animosity to increase whatever power they might have in a future government.

And, FWIW, I didn't state a concern for the Copts, though I am concerned. My point wasn't about them -- it's about the fact that before this revolution started, attacks against them were increasing, and the most common theory I saw in the Arab press was it was Muslim extremists trying to fan inter-religious animosity (specifically Christians being angry with the government for failing to protect them) in order to destabilize the Mubarek regime. That's why I was heartened to see Egyptian Muslims acting as human shields to allow Copts to go to Church at Theophany. The fact that the apparent majority of Egyptian Muslims aren't biting doesn't change my belief that the attacks are based on the desire of more radical Muslims to be in power.

As I said, it's too well timed. This isn't a coincidence.

And I'm not -- at all -- saying they are likely to seize power, or that this is working. I'm just pointing out that's what's behind it.

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You don't know that and it's silly to speculate. It's just as possible--perhaps more possible--that opposition groups rally behind ElBaradei, who is not some Islamist extremist but rather is fairly moderate and was part of the inspections in Iraq. If the opposition gets its way and has fair elections, ElBaradei has a good shot of winning and establishing a moderate democracy in Egypt, one that would continue to be a close ally with the US.

FWIW, I think that's the most likely outcome. I don't know how moderate or democratic it is likely to be, but I do think it will be more moderate and democratic than what they have now.

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